Nematode assemblages were studied from four sublittoral sites at 50–56 m depth in the Gulf of Maine, north-eastern coast of the USA, within the context of an open ocean aquaculture experimental site. All four sites, two potential impact and two control sites, had a similar muddy–sand bottom and low organic content. Seventy genera in 27 families were recorded from a total of 1072 individuals. All but one taxa could be related to known genera. Family Comesomatidae was the most dominant with close to a third (27·6%) of the total individuals. At the genus level
Nematode diversity at the genus-level was reasonably high and was comparable with Mediterranean samples. Most diversity indices ordered the four sites similarly with Site 2 as the most diverse followed by Site 5 and then Site 6. By contrast the relative diversity of Site 4 depended on the index employed and its
A new paradigm where morphological information is documented and communicated using digital multifocal images is introduced. Each video image is comparable with visualization of a specimen under a microscope where the movie can be played back and forth to mimic focusing through a specimen. Web-based and openly accessible digital multifocal images were used to document and effectively communicate the morphology of all the identified genera in this study. This approach for documenting and communicating survey results is proposed as a benchmark for future similar studies that would enhance standardization and quality control of meiofaunal taxonomy, ecology and biodiversity studies.